[ExI] extropy-chat Digest, Vol 140, Issue 22
atymes at gmail.com
Wed May 27 20:47:52 UTC 2015
On May 27, 2015 12:30 PM, "Keith Henson" <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
> It took a long time to get the projected cost of space based solar
> power down to where it undercut coal.
> If you know how to do that with ground based solar, instead if it
> costing some substantial multiple of coal, your fortune is made.
A lot of companies agree with that assessment, and are steadily lowering
the cost of ground solar until it becomes less than coal.
Thing is, it is possible to make incremental progress with ground based,
and use the funding from that to go further. Space based, the way you keep
presenting it, it's all or nothing, and unforeseen flaws or defects could
wreck the entire program: far riskier for the same end result. You need to
show how space based can be done incrementally, and preferably make profit
during those increments just like ground based does.
I know of at least one way to do this, but it starts with asteroid mining
(returning high value metals to Earth; no space manufacturing/added value
from being in orbit at first, until customers for in-orbit goods are
generated) and only later adds on export of power to Earth (after starting
with solar power for on site use, with panels just like most satellites
today - no new architectures - but somewhat bigger).
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